Cytokine autoantibodies in multiple sclerosis, aseptic meningitis and stroke

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Abstract

Background

We have recently described the induction of anti-cytokine autoantibodies during bacterial infections and autoimmune diseases as a mechanism for cytokine regulation.

Methods

Herein, we study the occurrence of autoantibodies to pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma from patients with multiple sclerosis, aseptic meningitis and stroke.

Results

Increased levels of autoantibodies to interferon γ, tumour necrosis factor α, interleukin 4 and interleukin 10 were detected in both compartments of multiple sclerosis and aseptic meningitis patients. Interestingly, in cerebrospinal fluid from stroke patients, only autoantibodies to interleukin 4 and interleukin 10, but not interferon α or tumour necrosis factor α were detected. No significant autoantibody levels were registered in plasma from stroke patients against all four cytokines compared with healthy control subjects. The latter revealed very low autoantibody levels in plasma and no detectable autoantibodies in cerebrospinal fluid.

Conclusions

Our data show for the first time the occurrence of cytokine autoantibodies in these diseases, but their biological significance is unclear.

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